Story: Cullen Bunn
Art: Fran Galan
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
What They Say:
In his quest to save all of reality, time-lost knight Auguste de Riviere is beset by his most fearsome foe yet – himself! A brutal clash of knight versus knight raises the stakes as well as a number of terrifying questions, the most frightening of which happens to be: Is Auguste truly fighting for the right side?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Cullen Bunn has laid out a decent idea of what’s going on that could be interpreted in a few ways which made it enjoyable to read because you couldn’t be quite sure how this was all playing out. With brief looks at August from other periods of time, was it a fracture? Was it a linear life? Was it something he was leaping through in the hunt? That was tantalizing and we get some of those answers here. And for Fran Galan that gets to be a bit of extra work (and fun) in designing a lot more looks for August as we see a really slick montage of him throughout the centuries. I like concepts like these and Bunn and Galan are pulling it off well, though all of this really does still feel like just prologue to something larger.
This issue gives us some classic gangster material at first with a car chase that goes for the noir style, tommy guns, and all that as August and Jane try and take out Gaspard then but without much like. It goes badly in general but it’s a lot of fun and full of style and detail that’s just fantastic to watch unfold. All that takes us back to the present where we see the Other August almost taking down the August that we’ve been following (supposedly) since he went into the forest. The two have quite the fight and it turns just enough that there’s a chance of taking out the Other August, but August stops that from happening as he’s figured out some of what’s going on. That just leaves Kerri even more confused and once again we get the sense that Jane is really playing her own game amid all of this as he reminds her that she wasn’t mentioned at all in the mission he was given by the crystal.
What Bunn does as the fight in the present picks up again is for August to realize what’s going on. Knowing that his other selves take the damage he takes, that when he draws the sword it’s pulled from someone else, highlights how they came out fractured but not quiet from the forest and that something else is operating here. But he also realizes that killing one of them may kill him as well and there’s a good panic over that. What makes for a fantastic sequence, however, is when Other August gets the blade through August and we see a number of the other August’s throughout history who realize the scale of what’s going – and promptly decide their best option is to kill as many of the other selves as they can. It’s almost comical if not for how brutal it turns so quickly.
With a bit more potential as to what’s actually going on here coming out, Knights Temporal continues to be pretty damn interesting. Fran Galan gives it a lot of great energy thanks to the fight scenes, whether between the two August’s or with the noir style car chase with gangsters. I’m still curious to see where it is that Bunn intends to take the story with the cast but I really loved the montage style piece that we got showing so many variations of him throughout time. It’s a book I haven’t been able to quite pin down in some ways and I’m really starting to feel that this is a single-read for the whole run kind of book, but it continues to offer plenty to tantalize on the monthly front.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: AfterShock Comics
Release Date: October 30th, 2019